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Consumers Call for Greater Privacy When Shopping Online

26 February 2020 - 11:18 by Paul Tissington

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Most people would rather have their private data protected when carrying out safe shopping online than be afforded access to personalised e-commerce experiences, according to a new study from Episerver.

This suggests that while there is still great demand for shopping services that are tailored to the unique desires and tastes of customers, people in the UK are similarly keen to prevent companies from exploiting sensitive information to achieve this.

As such, it may seem like retailers are in an especially tricky position, since personalisation of e-commerce experiences is only possibly by leveraging user data, yet the majority of their customers will be against the idea of their information being harnessed in this way.

Ultimately this comes down to whether or not consumers trust the companies they do business with to keep their information safe. It is not necessarily that data is being used internally to conjure up bespoke e-commerce experiences that is the issue, but rather that there are concerns about whether details will leak out to third parties and be exploited in unwanted ways.

Study spokesperson Alex Atzberger confirmed that there is a paradoxical desire for personalisation and privacy amongst modern consumers in the digital age, making it hard for retailers to get the balance right. He also said that privacy may actually be taking precedence over personalisation in the minds of many people, which might make some companies refocus their strategies going forwards.

It is not just on-site privacy which is seen as in need of being bolstered by retailers: consumers are also very worried about the levels of protection they are afforded when using voice-controlled services to search for products. A lack of understanding of how these technologies work could also be leading to mistrust at the moment.